The Newbies Speed Running Experience
Before I start saying anything about the topic at hand, I’ll give a quick introduction to myself as I’m new to this site. I’m Taurinensis, a charity blogger who has been very kindly invited by this site’s staff to come and write stuff from time to time on various topics. I’m big on video games so expect a lot of over-opinionated rants in the future.
So with that out of the way I can finally talk about the thing I said I was going to talk about in the title, Speed Running. Now I’ve started to become aware that it’s not quite the huge thing I once thought it was, so a little bit of an explanation is in order. Speed Running is this thing that has been around since the days of Quake on the PC and it’s exactly what you think it is, getting to the end of a game in the fastest possible time.
Now you may be sat there thinking; “But Tau, I’m really good at <insert game here>, I can do it fast already!” Well I want you to go on YouTube, type in your favourite game and hit that search button and I guarantee someone has done it faster. But I’m not talking about just a little faster, I mean hours off whatever time you thought was fast.
One thing to consider is that Speed Running comes in two flavours, normal and Tool Assisted. A normal Speed Run is just the player, the game and the controller. While Tool Assisted involves using things like emulators in order to produce the perfect run. Tool Assisted runs may contain stuff that no person could ever pull off, but being able to see what a game can do when pushed to its absolute limit is a blast to watch.
So recently I’ve been delving into the Speed Run scene myself, and after reading the above couple of paragraphs, hopefully you are interested too. That said, if you have a look at what’s on display already, either on YouTube or Speed Demos Archive, this can be quite a daunting thing to get into. You may be thinking “There is no way in hell I could ever do something like that…” but you need to drop that mind-set, find a game you really like and dig in!
Recently I’ve been sinking a lot of time into They Bleed Pixels, so I thought that would be a good place to start my Speed Running venture. So I had a look on YouTube for a run for the first stage and the guy had a best time of about 1 minute 31 seconds. Well I looked at my own time of about 3 minutes and had a bit of a cry before picking up the controller and getting some practice in.
The first couple of runs were unsuccessful, and it’s sort of heart-breaking but I didn’t give up and I kept slamming that restart button. Eventually I got my time down to about 2:30, then 2:10, then 2 minutes. I kept practicing and practicing until eventually I got my time down to a glorious 1:51!
After doing it for a while to I know there are things I can do to shave seconds off that time; a better jump here, a dash there or just simply not messing up one of the harder sections. Once you start to get into it you can see the faults in your own play that you can iron out to shave seconds or even minutes off your time and suddenly that 1:31 doesn’t seem like such a pipe dream.
All it takes to get into Speed Running is time (ironically) and dedication. Spend some time learning your game, looking up other speed runs and learning from other people. There are plenty of friendly communities out there ready to help out a fledgling runner, so if you are interested in this stuff don’t just sit there thinking you can’t do it, pick up a pad and give it a go!
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